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Coverdale Bible 1535



1:1The first treatise (deare Theophilus) haue I made of all that Iesus beganne to do and to teache,
1:2vntyll ye daye that he was taken vp, after that he (thorow the holy goost) had geuen commaundementes to to the Apostles, whom he had chosen:
1:3to who also he shewed himself alyue after his passion, by many tokes, and appeared vnto them fourtye dayes longe, and spake vnto them of the kyngdome of God.
1:4And whan he had gathered them together, he commaunded them that they shulde not departe from Ierusalem, but to wayte for the promyse of the father, wherof (sayde he) ye haue herde of me:
1:5For Ihon baptysed with water, but ye shalbe baptysed wt ye holy goost, & that within this few dayes.
1:6Now whan they were come together, they axed him, and sayde: LORDE, shalt thou at this tyme set vp the kyngdome of Israel agayne?
1:7But he sayde vnto them: It belongeth not vnto you to knowe the tymes or seasons, which the father hath kepte in his awne power,
1:8but ye shal receaue the power of ye holy goost, which shal come vpon you, and ye shalbe my witnesses at Ierusalem, and in all Iewrye and Samaria, and vnto the ende of the earth.
1:9And whan he had spoken these thinges, whyle they behelde, he was taken vp, and a cloude receaued him from their sight.
1:10And whyle they loked after him, as he wente in to heauen, beholde, there stode by them two men in whyte garmentes,
1:11which also sayde: Ye men of Galile, Why stonde ye gasynge vp in to heauen? This Iesus which is take vp from you in to heauen shal come euen so as ye haue sene him go in to heauen.
1:12Then turned they agayne from ye mount that is called Oliuete, which is nye to Ierusalem, and hath a Sabbath dayes iourney.
1:13And whan they came in, they wente vp in to a parler, where abode Peter and Iames, Ihon and Andrew, Philippe and Thomas, Bartilmew and Mathew, Iames the sonne of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Iudas the sonne of Iames.
1:14These all contynued with one acorde in prayer and supplicacion, with the wemen and Mary the mother of Iesu and with his brethren.
1:15And in those dayes Peter stode vp in the myddes amonge the disciples, and sayde: (The company of the names together, was aboute an hundreth and twentye.)
1:16Ye men and brethren, this scripture must nedes be fulfylled, which ye holy goost by the mouth of Dauid spake before of Iudas, which was a gyde of the that toke Iesus:
1:17for he was nombred with vs, and had opteyned the felashippe of this mynistracion.
1:18This same trulye possessed the felde for the rewarde of vnrighteousnes, and hanged himself, and brast asunder in the myddes, and all his bowels gusshed out.
1:19And it is knowne vnto all the that dwell at Ierusalem, in so moch that the same felde is called in their mother tonge Acheldema, that is to saye, the bloude felde.
1:20For it is wrytten in the boke of psalmes: His habitacion be voyde, and noman be dwellinge therin. And: His bisshoprike another take.
1:21Wherfore amonge these men which haue bene gathered together with vs (all the tyme that the LORDE Iesus wete out and in amonge vs,
1:22begynnynge from the baptyme of Ihon, vntyll ye daye that he was take vp from vs) must one be a wytnesse with vs of his resurreccion.
1:23And they appoynted two (Ioseph called Barsabas, whose syrname was Iustus, and Mathias.)
1:24makinge their prayer and sayenge: Thou LORDE, which knowest the hertes of all men, shewe whether of these two thou hast chosen,
1:25that the one maye take the rowme of this mynistracion and Apostelshippe, from the which Iudas by transgression fell, that he might go awaye in to his awne place.
1:26And they gaue forth the lottes ouer them, and the lot fell vpon Mathias. And he was counted with the eleuen Apostles.
Coverdale Bible 1535

Coverdale Bible 1535

The Coverdale Bible, compiled by Myles Coverdale and published in 1535, was the first complete English translation of the Bible to contain both the Old and New Testament and translated from the original Hebrew and Greek. The later editions (folio and quarto) published in 1539 were the first complete Bibles printed in England. The 1539 folio edition carried the royal license and was, therefore, the first officially approved Bible translation in English.

Tyndale never had the satisfaction of completing his English Bible; but during his imprisonment, he may have learned that a complete translation, based largely upon his own, had actually been produced. The credit for this achievement, the first complete printed English Bible, is due to Miles Coverdale (1488-1569), afterward bishop of Exeter (1551-1553).

The details of its production are obscure. Coverdale met Tyndale in Hamburg, Germany in 1529, and is said to have assisted him in the translation of the Pentateuch. His own work was done under the patronage of Oliver Cromwell, who was anxious for the publication of an English Bible; and it was no doubt forwarded by the action of Convocation, which, under Archbishop Cranmer's leading, had petitioned in 1534 for the undertaking of such a work.

Coverdale's Bible was probably printed by Froschover in Zurich, Switzerland and was published at the end of 1535, with a dedication to Henry VIII. By this time, the conditions were more favorable to a Protestant Bible than they had been in 1525. Henry had finally broken with the Pope and had committed himself to the principle of an English Bible. Coverdale's work was accordingly tolerated by authority, and when the second edition of it appeared in 1537 (printed by an English printer, Nycolson of Southwark), it bore on its title-page the words, "Set forth with the King's most gracious license." In licensing Coverdale's translation, King Henry probably did not know how far he was sanctioning the work of Tyndale, which he had previously condemned.

In the New Testament, in particular, Tyndale's version is the basis of Coverdale's, and to a somewhat less extent this is also the case in the Pentateuch and Jonah; but Coverdale revised the work of his predecessor with the help of the Zurich German Bible of Zwingli and others (1524-1529), a Latin version by Pagninus, the Vulgate, and Luther. In his preface, he explicitly disclaims originality as a translator, and there is no sign that he made any noticeable use of the Greek and Hebrew; but he used the available Latin, German, and English versions with judgment. In the parts of the Old Testament which Tyndale had not published he appears to have translated mainly from the Zurich Bible. [Coverdale's Bible of 1535 was reprinted by Bagster, 1838.]

In one respect Coverdale's Bible was groundbreaking, namely, in the arrangement of the books of the. It is to Tyndale's example, no doubt, that the action of Coverdale is due. His Bible is divided into six parts -- (1) Pentateuch; (2) Joshua -- Esther; (3) Job -- "Solomon's Balettes" (i.e. Canticles); (4) Prophets; (5) "Apocrypha, the books and treatises which among the fathers of old are not reckoned to be of like authority with the other books of the Bible, neither are they found in the canon of the Hebrew"; (6) the New Testament. This represents the view generally taken by the Reformers, both in Germany and in England, and so far as concerns the English Bible, Coverdale's example was decisive.